Posts Tagged nicaraguan cigar filler

BOTL 2013 by Drew Estate

Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (

Jay’s Notes:

This week we are photographing and reviewing the BOTL 2013 – a corona gorda made by the Drew Estate for online community. The BOTL 2013, a follow-up to well received BOTL 2012 lancero (also made by the Drew Estate), was a limited run and was sold exclusively through online retailer Podman Cigars (* notice Podwika’s signature on the box).

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Filler: ASP Ligero, Drew Estate Jalapa Ligero
Length: 6”
Ring: 46

Matt’s Review:

Cut: Palio / Straight
Drink: None
Palate: Fresh
# Cigars Smoked for Review: One

Prelight: Underneath the muted brown and cream BOTL band emerges some sexy! A quick look reveals a somewhat rough triple cap which is concealed quite well by the dark and mottled appearance of the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper: classic spectral shades of brown and inky black with seductive subtle reddish hues. There is a uniform fine tooth and no real appreciable oils. The seams are tight, the pack is very firm, and there is one large palpable vein running the length of the cigar. Off the wrapper … straight tobacco and barnyard. Off the foot… it’s raisin, plum, molasses and dark chocolate … very sweet. The cold draw delivers raisin, milk chocolate and a touch of pepper.

Draw: perfect, comfortable and even throughout. I was a bit concerned prior to the cut/light, as the cigar felt very densely packed.

Flavors: On the first few draws, I was struck with a big pepper blast that hits hard and then almost immediately fades out and lingers toward the back of the palate. There is a core of earth, dark chocolate, and very mild cedar that emerge. The opening is a little sharp and astringent: I get red chile/cayenne on the tip of my tongue and black pepper on the back of the palate and the retro. There is massive smoke … classic DE and very Liga-esque. The initial intense spice is drying on the palate. As I get a bit further into the 1st third, the cedar becomes more evident and there is a sweetness starting to emerge, but my tongue is still a little spice shocked and won’t let it develop in it’s entirety. Just prior to hitting the 2nd third, the acidic/zesty chile and the ruddy/bold black pepper finally find balance with a rich molasses sweetness … and the transition gives up wonderful cinnamon notes that complement the dark chocolate and mild cedar perfectly. Into the 2nd third, the spice on the back of the palate fades out completely. The strength and natural sweetness of the broadleaf are in full effect now. The smoke has become much denser and creamier on the palate. Cinnamon, black tea, and rich coffee notes act to accent a solid core of dark chocolate, mild cedar, and that gritty Broadleaf sweetness. The final third is wonderful: cinnamon, cedar and chocolate. The spice is a distant memory…the smoke is creamy and rich with a huge mouth feel. Overall, the body and strength remained medium plus/full minus throughout.

Burn: A little wavy at times, but straightened out on its own with only one minor touch up. The ash was a ribbed white/grey: dense, tight, and solid.

Construction: Excellent throughout

Descriptive Adjectives: Mayan Hot Chocolate!

Box worthy: Start scouring the secondary market. Should age very well.

Overall: Initial intense diverging spices marry with an escalating sweetness to allow distinct balanced transitions. A bit of a roller-coaster! It was like Santa Fe collided with Hershey Pa!



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Liga Privada Único Serie Papas Fritas

Cigar Review by Matt Zaccheo (guest)
Cigar Photography by Jay L (

This week we are photographing and reviewing the Liga Privada Único Serie Papas Fritas. This petit corona, made at the La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate factory in Nicaragua, is one of the latest innovations from the Drew Estate stable.

Cut: Not applicable.  A quick tug at the pigtail did the job. Not elegant….but efficient!
Drink: None
Palate: Fresh
# cigars smoked for review: Three

Prelight: At first glance, the pigtail cap on this cigar is rather unique and commands some attention. It is more reminiscent of the fuse on an M-80 firework or the stem of an apple. No coil: it stands at attention waiting to be torn off. There is no primary banding, just a simple and attractive boquilla band. The wrapper is dark and mottled with an ultrafine tooth and scant amount of oils. It’s resilient and thick. The seams are tight and the cigar feels uniform and well packed throughout its entire length. Nothing to suggest mixed filler here! The initial aromas off the foot are of sweet tobacco, mild cedar, and cocoa. The cold draw yields more sweet tobacco, cocoa, and leather with some raisin, zinfandel, and port notes.  Once the band is off the foot…it begs to be ignited. Let’s get it on!

Draw: Comfortable and fluent from start to finish

Flavors: Initial notes are of dark chocolate, leather, espresso, and sweet cedar. There is a quick burst of spice (cayenne/red pepper) that fades into the background after the first 5-6 draws….only to be acknowledged again on the retrohale. As the cigar gets going there is no doubt about it: it’s broadleaf baby….in all of its gritty glory! The smoke is dense, lush and creamy. It’s big on the palate. You can chew it! Production is not quite colossal, but it is definitely imposing and impressive for such a small stick. Classic Liga! As the cigar hits mid stride, the leather becomes more dominant. The generic sweetness is given a name: blackstrap molasses. From the dark chocolate and bitter espresso emerges a more dry dusty cocoa. The woody finish transitions from mild sweet cedar to more of a dark cherry and nutty toasted oak with some fleeting vanilla notes. Overall, the flavors are rich and intense. They come in waves and roll effortlessly over the palate. It’s game on and full Nica flavor from the get go! My palate interprets the strength to transition from a medium minus to a solid medium as I hit the end of the first third. Don’t worry….what it lacks in strength it more than makes up for with its vigor!

Burn: Excellent. All three samples were razor sharp. Only a few minor touch ups. Two ash drops and my first ash was 1 ½ inches long!

Construction: The excellent construction of this cigar is truly a tribute that must be paid to the rollers. This is no ordinary short filler……this is the result of passion meets performance. Total smoke time was 45 minutes – 1 hr. and 15 minutes.

Descriptive adjectives: “Little Big Man”. “Petite Power”.  “Liga #4.5”. This is ten pounds of Liga in a five pound sack!

Sleeve worthy: Absolutely

Overall: I have yet to meet a Liga I didn’t like. This was no exception. It is not just a commuter cigar! Take the extra 15-30 minutes…. and slow down….to savor and appreciate the gifts from the torcedors’ chaveta! 

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Honduras & Nicaragua
Length: 4.5″
Ring: 44


- click on photographs (slideshow)-

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Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘Feral Flying Pig’ – prerelease

This week we are photographing and smoking the latest project out of the Drew Estate stable – a pre-release of Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘Feral Flying Pig’ (FFP). This is a follow-up, in my eyes, to the successful ‘Flying Pig’ (FP) project which was photographed and reviewed by as well (No9T52). Although both versions of the FP have received plenty of accolades, many, including yours truly, have expressed a constructive feedback regarding “ergonomics” and the size of the cigar. I’m not sure whether that feedback was considered or the follow-up project was already in motion, I am, however, pleased to see Drew Estate’s reaction and increase in the FFP’s length.

Let me be clear about the Feral Flying Pig (and any Flying Pig Family for that matter) in regard to aging. The Feral Flying Pig is the VERY BEST PIG we have ever done and quite possibly the very best cigar we have ever made (in my opinion of course). These will only get better with age, and might, just might, become an all time classic with a year or two on them. – Jonathan Drew

In my opinion this is by far and away the best Flying Pig blend – the taste and proportions are just perfect. They will be more expensive having just looked over the final cost, but I think those who are fans of this oddball will feel like they got a better value when they buy a box of these. The blend is so righteous we are right now working the tobacco schedule to see if there is anyway to make the FFP an ongoing vitola even if it is in a really limited capacity. First batch in late November – it will be released in waves of about 800 – 1000 boxes a month for the next 4 months or so as they age/taste right. We have decided to NOT make this a one-time batch release like the previous FP releases – rather we will continue to make it in small lots like we do Dirty Rats. – Steve Saka

Conceptually, the FFP looked very much like the FP: perfecto on steroids with a sexy pigtail. If you had a pleasure of enjoying the FP No9 and appreciated the wrapper and construction, you will definitely not be disappointed with the FFP. Work of art without seams and no visible veins ! In the FP T52 review I’ve noted extremely toothy wrapper and in the FP No9 review, “silky” smooth wrapper. Although Jonathan Drew had stated that FFP is wrapped in the No9 capa, I found its texture to be similar to the FP T52 – very toothy. After clipping the head, perfectly flowing draw. In flavor department, notes of wood / cedar at the beginning with a touch of chocolate / sweetness in the middle and increase in flavors toward the end. Definitely spicy / peppery finish on the palate, especially on retrohale. Although there was a decent amount of flavors in the FFP, in my personal opinion, most were muted compared to the FP No9. However, when it comes to the strength and the kick, the FFP shined like a glowing star ! This cigar had some kahunas. Full Stop !!! As mentioned in all previous Liga Privada reviews and as expected, the FPP produced an incredible amount of thick smoke. The burn line was top notch as depicted below. Ash, as with both FPs, could not have been any better.

Overall, another successful release from folks at the Drew Estate. If you are into big ring gauges, have enjoyed FPs (both flavor profile and shape) and appreciate an extra strength kick, I see FFP flying (* literally) off the shelf like its predecessors. After appreciating all three FPs, I’m still partial to the FP No9. I believe there is a bit more flavor and a bit less strength in the FP No9 and that combination agrees more with my palate.

** Thanks to Charlie Minato from for w/b/f confirmation.

Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Brazilian Mata Fina
Filler: Nicaragua
Length: 5 3/8″
Ring: 60

Construction > Great
Burn > Great
Enjoy > Yes
Recommend > Yes
Buy > Yes

Please consider the following post:
* Liga Privada Unico Serie ‘L40’
* Liga Privada T52 ‘Flying Pig’
* Liga Privada No9 ‘Flying Pig’

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